One of the things that seems to happen to people I talk to most regularly, is that they tend to develop a tiny internal Minerva who pipes up with commentary when I’m not around like a snarky, alternate-world, Jiminy Cricket. I’d say that part of the reason I felt it was time to take a break from social media was so that I could get to know my own internal voice again and learn to hear it a little clearer.
The ONLY advice about writing I think anyone really needs is: Know Yourself. The Advance Level Advice is realizing that knowing yourself is a constant and evolving practice that requires actual work and attention. It’s not something you can One and Done. Your relationship with yourself is one you need to work on and maintain, payinging attention to your personal Emotional Weather Report and taking precautions is always a good idea.
There’s a clutter-busting technique called 40 bags in 40 days, where you work to clear out (through trash, donation, selling, whatever) 40 bags of whatever size in your house. I had such success with it that I’ve taken on a daily thing where I get rid of 3 items per day no matter what. Most of the time that ends up being trash that’s collected on the counters or junk mail, but other times I work on getting rid of things out of the junk drawer or kitchen gadgets I no longer use. I’m starting to feel the itch to do a full 40 bags in 40 days (as you can probably guess a lot of people have done this in conjunction with Lent but I’ve never been one to do things at a prescribed time) as I can feel the weight of extraneous stuff weighing on the household again. One of the things that most surprised me in doing this last year is that I didn’t REMOTELY get through the whole house with 40 bags or even 60 or 70. I never even tackled the totes of stored items we keep moving around. I didn’t de-junk the junkiest parts of the house and I still went way over 40 bags.
I’ve gotten away from really listening to myself. I’ve let too much mental clutter pile up. This is a good opportunity for me to focus on myself and sweep out some of the things I don’t need anymore or things that are actively harming me. Maybe try some new habits and techniques to see what works.
There’s no way I’m going to “fix” everything or even that anything is fundamentally broken. I mean, my house isn’t “broken” when there’s clutter, it’s just… cluttered. I don’t need fixing. I just need to spend some time doing a few of the things I’ve known I needed to do. I won’t get them all done, this isn’t an all or nothing thing. It’s just an opportunity to do some mental cleaning and get rid of or re-purpose some things that aren’t working like they used. I need to know myself, and that’s someone I need to keep in touch with, not just assume I know.